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Aspergillosis


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Overview


Aspergillosis is an infection, growth, or allergic response caused by the Aspergillus fungus.[1] There are several different kinds of aspergillosis. One kind is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (also called ABPA), a condition where the fungus causes allergic respiratory symptoms similar to asthma, such as wheezing and coughing, but does not actually invade and destroy tissue.[2][1] Another kind of aspergillosis is invasive aspergillosis. This infection usually affects people with weakened immune systems due to cancer, AIDS, leukemia, organ transplantation, chemotherapy, or other conditions or events that reduce the number of normal white blood cells. In this condition, the fungus invades and damages tissues in the body.[2][1] Invasive aspergillosis most commonly affects the lungs, but can also cause infection in many other organs and can spread throughout the body (commonly affecting the kidneys and brain).[3] Aspergilloma, a growth (fungus ball) that develops in an area of previous lung disease such as tuberculosis or lung abscess, is a third kind of aspergillosis.[1] This type of aspergillosis is composed of a tangled mass of fungus fibers, blood clots, and white blood cells. The fungus ball gradually enlarges, destroying lung tissue in the process, but usually does not spread to other areas.[3]
Last updated: 10/2/2013

References

  1. Aspergillosis. MedlinePlus. June 9, 2011; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001326.htm. Accessed 10/2/2013.
  2. Aspergillosis (Aspergillus). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). May 6, 2013; http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/aspergillosis/. Accessed 10/2/2013.
  3. Aspergillosis. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. October 2008; http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec17/ch197/ch197b.html. Accessed 10/2/2013.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Aspergillosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.